Derwent Water Zen

You don't have to be in the Lake District for too long before you realise why there are so many lakes. I'm talking rain, lots of it and this particular week was no exception.

Mum and dad, my brother and his family, my wife, myself and our children were all meeting up in Keswick for a week in the Lakes. I naturally thought to myself this would be a great photo opportunity so brought the gear along. The 'agreement' was I could do what I wanted first thing in the mornings but the rest of the day belonged to family. I couldn't say fairer than that, as I am only too aware that landscape photography can take up a lot of time.

Keen to not lose out on an opportunity, the first morning I was awoken by the alarm at 5:45am. The weather was grotty, but I knew that would be the case. Knowing the weather in the Lake District can change from one valley to the next I had created a bit of a circuit sampling different locations to try and maximise my chances. The route was easy, essential at that time of day; from Keswick get on and follow the B5289 passing Derwent Water to the west continuing past Rosthwaite and Borrowdale. The road then climbs to the Honister slate mine, revealing a fantastic view as it then drops steeply to Buttermere. From there you have the option of continuing on to Crummock Water or turning right and (eventually) returning back to Keswick.

That morning it rained and so it did for the following 3 mornings. The days were also wet, very wet. In fact the dry moments were very few and far between, however day 5 was different, well a little!

It started with the same routine 5:45am alarm, tiptoe quietly so as not to wake up anyone, then a quick look out of window. I could see stars, there was no wind and it was very cold...yippee! I didn't bother with the usual circuit and just went straight to Ashness Jetty on Derwent Water. This was the first location on my little route and parking was available directly opposite the jetty, happy days. It was still rather dark and bitterly cold but that didn't stop me walking to the end of the jetty and soaking up the scene as the twilight slowly came into view.

I took a few shots with varying degrees of success but this one with Skiddaw in the background I am particularly fond of. It's not to do with any particular visual merit (others can be the judge of that). But minutes after taking that image the mist around Skiddaw grew and in a very short time a full blanket of cloud had returned. By the time I got back to the car it was raining yet again!

On the short drive back to the lodgings I could see lights switching on in the homes i passed and curtains opening. To those people it was just the beginning to another wet day in the lakes but for a brief moment I got to see something no one else did that day. Regardless of whether i got a shot or not it was a privilege and an honour to witness such a scene. I try to portray that feeling in my images, it doesn't always work but that won't stop me trying and I will never forget my favourite image!